It’s Time for a Dentist FAQ Session
Do you have questions for the dentist?
There’s a good chance one of yours made our frequently asked questions list!
Question 1: How often do I need to visit the dentist?
For most people, we recommend a dental exam and cleaning twice a year. Even for patients with perfect oral hygiene, it’s inevitable that some plaque and tartar will still build up. We can give your teeth a professional cleaning to control plaque and tartar and we can catch any dental problems early, which will save you time, pain, and money in the long run.
Some people can benefit from more frequent visits, often for reasons like pregnancy, a history of gum disease, or a smoking habit. The ideal frequency of your visits is based on how healthy your gums are and how committed you are to maintaining good oral hygiene.
Question 2: Why do I need a filling if my tooth doesn’t hurt?
Not all cavities are painful. Cavities form when the acid produced by bacteria eats away at tooth enamel until it creates a hole in the tooth. Cavities usually don’t hurt in the early stages when they only affect the enamel. You don’t want to leave a cavity untreated until it hurts, because that means letting it progress until it reaches the dental pulp where the nerves are. At that point, a simple filling might not be enough.
Question 3: Is it really important to keep baby teeth healthy?
It’s true that baby teeth are temporary, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Baby teeth are essential to a child’s ability to chew their food effectively, speak clearly, and master lifelong dental habits like brushing and flossing. They’re also important placeholders for the incoming adult teeth.
Question 4: What is making my teeth more yellow?
Teeth inevitably darken or yellow over time as a function of age, but trauma and environmental factors can make the effect much more pronounced. The biggest culprits of surface stains are cigarettes, wine, coffee, tea, cola, sports drinks, berries, hard candy, and even tomato sauce. If your smile is losing its sparkle, talk to us about whitening treatments.
Question 5: How bad are pacifiers and thumbsucking for my child’s teeth?
At first, they aren’t bad at all! These self-soothing habits only become an oral health concern when they continue beyond toddlerhood. Most children will grow out of them on their own, but after age three, it’s time to start considering strategies for discouraging the habit, like clipping a pacifier. We can help!
These aren’t the only habits that can damage teeth!
We Love Answering Our Patients’ Questions!
The more educated our patients are about their teeth and gums, the more confident they feel about how they’re taking care of their dental health. If you have any questions we didn’t cover here, give us a call or schedule your next appointment today!